One hundred years
Watching the day break and see the sun come up never loses its wonder, while driving I listened to the radio talk host with a sound byte for how many people who are 100 years or more. Currently in America there are 79 centenarians. Listed to date are 73 females and 5 males. According to the official register many more are undocumented. Super-centenarians are over 110 years. The woman interviewed talked about being 110 years old got me to thinking; how I have fared at 51? Privileges many have never experienced. One thing I know for sure is I have the hope of everlasting life. What will I speak of at 110 years of age?
In a humble matter of fact way she told of how she never drank or smoked, still drinks cow’s milk has had all her life. She spoke about being grateful happy and the only thing she really wanted was a dishwasher, she had never owned one. I wished I could go out and buy her a new dishwasher. No one knows how much time she has left. I certainly sensed she didn’t want to spend it with dishpan hands. She was sharp as a tack being candid about not having much interest in cooking; she liked to put in a roast so that the leftovers carried over at least three days before she has to cook again. I wondered, no family to cook a meal for her? No meals on wheels? No merry maids to clean her house? Lastly she said, I do really like doughnuts, they are so good. I eat a lot of doughnuts when I can. A few people have been so kind as to drop by and leave me doughnuts. I just love them she said sweetly. I questioned, why not bring more than doughnuts? Why not bring a whole meal? Ready for her next time you stop by with your crispy crèmes?
We don’t often hear people say they have carved out some time to volunteer. We hear them being in the middle of busy twenty four seven, no time to get back to basics. Commit random acts of kindness now and then. Hey even once a month would be good. How hard can it be? One hour less watching redundant TV. One less afternoon frittered away surfing the web or building an imaginary city. One less hour of random texts. This spry centenarian was born right around the time that the constitution was signed. She must have some fantastic stories to share. Shucks, her family tree has got to have a heck of a time line. One hundred years ago, people chopped wood carried water grew most their own food. A way of life so simple, yet so hard.
I know we tell ourselves our families, hubbies, kids, jobs, keep us crazy busy. Are you old enough to remember first hand when there were no remotes for your TV? Phones had cords and were stationary. You may be so young you don’t remember when there wasn’t 24 hour shopping. Many of us have memories that include raking the neighbor’s leaves without getting paid. Borrowing and returning a cup of sugar, making a pie for a widow (er) or casserole for a new neighbor. One hundred years ago neighbors worked willingly to help each other. Whatever happened to being face to face? Now it’s a daily dose of Facebook to connect.
Regardless of what generation you are from random acts of kindness never go out of style. These days giving is mostly centered on commercialized holidays. All too often caring for others is put on the back burner. Time spent on oneself. Take out at the fast food joints, needless shopping. So many have ignored their compassionate nature; their spirit of do unto others. Some old school folks still have that zeal, that fine example of better to give than receive. Ask yourself do you even know someone who could use an hour of your time or efforts? They don’t have to be 100 years old either. Are you a MCgiver or a MCtaker? Have you ever committed a random act of kindness? What would that look like? How would it make you feel?